Penton Media Acquires Farm Progress Portfolio for $79.9 Million

November 13, 2012

New York-based Penton Media made a big buy recently, scooping up the Farm Progress portfolio from Fairfax Media Limited of Sydney, Australia, for $79.9 million.

This buy significantly expands Penton Media’s agriculture information business portfolio that includes live events, digital products, data, marketing services and publications.

The Farm Progress buy includes four farm trade events, including the nation’s largest outdoor farm show, a robust broadcast division and several media brands.

The shows include Farm Progress Show, Hay Expo, Husker Harvest Days and New York Farm Show.

“Our investment is supported by several inarguable global economic trends including rising demand for nutrition, limited arable land and water, and strong export potential for agriculture products, capital equipment and related production technology into developing countries,” said Penton CEO David Kieselstein.

He added, “The world looks to the U.S. as the center of innovation in agri-science, which gives Penton a unique opportunity to help this industry grow both domestically and internationally.”

The acquisition supports Penton’s strategy of expanding the company’s presence in high-growth sectors, as well as the Farm Progress buy more than doubled Penton’s agriculture portfolio.

The acquisition also connects Penton to nearly 75 percent of the 2.2 million farms and ranches in the US and an estimated 85 percent of the nation’s annual agricultural gross domestic product.

In addition, Farm Progress produces 18 state and regional farm publications, as well as online content and programming for the radio, TV and Web.

“We’ve always had tremendous respect and admiration for Farm Progress and its products. We also have a clear, strategic commitment to grow our agricultural information business, and Farm Progress perfectly supports that goal,” Kieselstein said.

He added, ““Farm Progress is a high quality company – the team has delivered excellent organic revenue and EBITDA growth. Moreover, this business fits with Penton’s heightened focus on properties that have high levels of user engagement. The fact that Farm Progress events attract more than 200,000 attendees from across the agriculture community every year is a prime example of that value.”

Farm Progress will remain hedquarterd in St. Charles, Ill., and become part of the Penton Agricultural Group reporting to Penton Senior Vice President Dan Bagan.

Jeff Lapin, president of Farm Progress, will leave the company at the end of the year.

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